Was one of the Founding Fathers gay?
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America could have been gay.
Alexander Hamilton is most famous for being the face on the back of the $10 note, and chief of staff to George Washington.
However, according to some historians he could also be one of the most influential gay men in American history.
Hamilton shared a close relationship with statesman John Laurens, while both were soldiers during the revolutionary war.
In a letter to Laurens, dated April 1779, he wrote: “Cold in my professions, warm in my friendships, I wish, my Dear Laurens, it might be in my power, by action rather than words to convince you that I love you… You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.”
In a letter to Laurens dated September 1779 – after he had become engaged to wife Elizabeth Schuyler – he wrote: “Like a jealous lover, when I thought you slighted my caresses, my affection was alarmed and my vanity piqued.
“I had almost resolved to lavish no more of them upon you and to reject you as an inconstant and an ungrateful.
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“I give up my liberty to Miss Schuyler. She is a good hearted girl who I am sure will never play the termagant; though not a genius she has good sense enough to be agreeable, and though not a beauty, she has fine black eyes.”
In a letter dated 1780, he seems to imply that the marriage was a fabrication, writing: “In spite of Schuyler’s black eyes, I have still a part for the public and another for you; so your impatience to have me married is misplaced; a strange cure by the way, as if after matrimony I was to be less devoted that I am now.
“Adieu, be happy, and let friendship between us be more than a name.”
At the time of the letters, sodomy was still a crime in all of the colonies.
Laurens was killed in battle in 1782, while Hamilton was shot dead by Vice President Aaron Burr in a duel in 1804.